Study Sheet for I Corinthians 10:14-11:1 (click here for Study Notes)
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the
cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood
of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body
of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for
we all partake of the one loaf.Consider
the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in
the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything,
or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered
to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot
have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying
to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
"Everything is permissible"-but not everything is beneficial.
"Everything is permissible"-but not everything is constructive.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions
of conscience, for, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."
If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat
whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But
if anyone says to you, "this has been offered to sacrifice," then
do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience'
sake-the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom
be judged by another's conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness,
why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the
glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the
church of God-even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not
seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow
my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (NIV)
has just completed an historical review of the temptations and sins Israel
faced, and he has told the Corinthians that the stories of Israel "were
written down as warnings for us" Now he specifically warns the Corinthians
to "flee from idolatry."
1. What is the "cup of thanksgiving" and the bread to which
Paul refers in verse 16, and from where did these symbols come? (Matthew
26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-23; I Cor. 11:24-26)
2. Why was it significant that the bread the Corinthians ate was from
"one loaf"? (Romans 12:5; John 6:33-58)
3. Why do you think the Passover symbols of bread and wine became the
continuing symbols of Christ instead of meat, which had also pointed toward
Christ's death, becoming the continuing symbol? (Ex. 16:3,4; Matthew 6:11;
26:26; John 6:33, 35, 41, 48, 51; 21:13; Hebrews 9:12, 19-26)
now directly admonishes the Corinthians not to participate in eating sacrificial
meat during pagan rituals.
1. What does he mean when he asks, "Do not those who eat the sacrifices
participate in the altar?"(Leviticus 7:5,6; 14,15; Deuteronomy 12:17,18)
2. If an idol is nothing, as Paul reiterates in verses 19-20, why does
he say that the Corinthians should not participate with their friends in
eating in pagan temple rituals? (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; Psalm 106:34-39;
Rev. 9:20; II Cor. 6:15,16; I Cor. 3:16)
3. Paul asks, "Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are
we stronger than he?" If Christians believe in the atoning sacrifice
of Jesus, why would their participation in a pagan ritual arouse God's
jealousy? (Dt. 32:16, 20-21; Ps. 78:58; Jer. 44:8; Ecc. 6:10; Isa. 45:9;
revisits his previous point: " 'Everything is permissible'-but not
everything is beneficial."
1. Why does Paul bring up this point again? (I Cor. 8:1; Gal. 6:2; Romans
15:1,2; I Cor. 13:5; Philippians 2:4, 21)
2. This discussion of the believer's freedom to choose whether or not
to eat sacrificial meat immediately follows Paul's recitation of Israel's
many falls into sin and paganism. Compare this freedom believers have with
the Israelites' requirement to "touch no unclean thing" (Isaiah
52:11) How is it the same? Different?
anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,"
Paul says in v. 25. In fact, eat whatever an unbeliever puts before you
without question. But if anyone tells you, "This has been offered in
sacrifice," then don't eat it.
1. If the meat in the meat market had previously been offered to idols,
as it often was, why would Paul say, immediately after telling the Corinthians
to abstain from eating ritual offerings, that they should feel free to
eat it? (Acts 10:15; I Cor. 8:4-8)
2. What confusion is Paul trying to avoid by having Christ-followers
take their cue from those they're with regarding what to eat and what not
to eat ? (I Cor. 8:9-13; 9:19; Romans 14:6)
summarizes this section by reminding the Corinthians that whatever they
do, they should do it to the glory of God. They should cause no one-believer
or unbeliever-to stumble.
1. What is the underlying main point of this whole last half of chapter
10? (Zech. 14:21; Col. 3:17; P Peter 4:10,11; Romans 15:3; I Cor. 9:22)
2. Paul ends by telling the Corinthians to "follow my example,
as I follow the example of Christ." What is significant about the
order of this directive?
1. What freedom do you exercise that may not glorify God in certain
2. Who in your life has a weak conscience that may be vulnerable to
confusion because of your freedom?
are not in danger (probably) of participating in literal idolatry. Idolatry,
however, can be other than the worship of idols.
1. What practice or habit do you have that is the equivalent of "participat[ing]
in the altar" of paganism?
2. What spiritual compromise do you need to surrender to Jesus, asking
Him to take your compulsion and replace it with his peace and freedom?
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised June 16, 2000.
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